Pushing Pet Industry Innovation: BlogPaws Best Award Winners at Global Pet Expo 2024

The pet industry is often referred to as an industry built on passion. That passion drives innovation through not only exciting new product launches, but also through the introduction of new pet businesses and existing businesses to the pet scene. As small pet business coaches, we here at BlogPaws are constantly on the look out for the latest trends and developments within the pet industry. We keep our eyes and ears open throughout the year for new pet business-related news online (and have started sharing this news in our Press Release section), but we always look forward to attending large industry events.

In person industry events, such as trade shows, allow us a unique opportunity to network with other pet industry professionals while also being able to see and touch the latest and most innovative products first hand.

White BlogPaws Best Award Badge on pink and orange ombre background

From March 20-22, 2024, myself (Jessica) and Britt from Team BlogPaws attended Global Pet Expo 2024 in Orlando, Florida.

Global Pet Expo, which is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distribution Association (PIDA), takes place across three days in the Orange County Convention Center. The show brings together brands of all sizes, independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, members of the media, and other qualified pet professionals from all over the world. This year’s show featured 1,000+ new product launches and 3,400+ booths from 1,100 exhibiting companies, of which 300 were exhibiting for the first time.

Products highlighted on the show floor are designed for pets of all types including dogs, cats, birds, horses, fish, reptiles, small animals, farm animals, and more.

For three days, we walked miles across the trade show floor. Our purpose? To find the best of the best in our industry. We searched for impressive booth displays, captivating packaging, standout industry trends, and of course, innovative pet products. After endless steps, hundreds of photos, hours of conversation, and a few good nights sleep, we selected our BlogPaws Best Awards for Global Pet Expo 2024.

In the end, we awarded 29 categorical BlogPaws Best Awards and 4 team member Best in Show Awards to brands and products that are making their mark on the pet industry by going above and beyond. Keep reading to find out what products and brands took home an award this year and why we selected them for this prestigious recognition!

A section of the Global Pet Expo show floor

What are the BlogPaws Best Awards?

The BlogPaws Best Awards were first introduced in 2012 as a way to recognize and celebrate pet brands that were pushing the pet industry forward through innovation, education, and commitment to pets and the people who love them.

After a short hiatus, we brought the awards back in August 2022 to highlight 23 brands following SuperZoo 2022 and have awarded them twice a year – March and August – since then. Our recent past winners can be found here:

In their current form, the BlogPaws Best Awards celebrate not only the products, but also the remarkable work brands do in their marketing including overall branding, product packaging, booth displays, and booth design.

Even with a total of 33 awards this year, it was a tough decision. We saw so many amazing products and brands throughout the show, that it was nearly impossible to narrow it down. But we did! And now we are thrilled to announce the latest group of BlogPaws Best Award winners…

Note: BlogPaws is not affiliated with Global Pet Expo, American Pet Products Association (APPA), or Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). BlogPaws Best awards are presented solely by BlogPaws and are in no way endorsed, sponsored, administered, or associated with Global Pet Expo.

Introducing the BlogPaws Best Award Winners from Global Pet Expo 2024

Tick Mitt in packaging and on table in green, blue, yellow, pink, and gray

Best Adventure Product: The Original TiCK MiTT by TiCK MiTT

No matter if you have dogs, cats, horses, or any other pet that spends some time outside, you probably cringe a little every time you hear the word “tick”. Battling these pesky, annoying, and kind of gross creatures is the bane of so many pet parents’ existences including mine! And the fact that these pests can spread Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses doesn’t make it any better.

While there are tons of flea and tick related products on the market, I’ve yet to find one that works 100% of the time every time, so I take the approach of using a few different products to cover every angle (or crevice if you get my drift). The TiCK MiTT is a product I’m excited to add to my regular tick prevention routine.

The TiCK MiTT was created to remove ticks from both humans and pets in order to protect against tick-borne illnesses. It works very simply – you just gently and thoroughly rub the mitt on your body, clothes, and pet’s fur to remove ticks. It won’t collect any ticks that have already attached to your or your pet, but it will collect loose ones as you pass the mitt over them. Then you pop the mitt inside a dryer bag and throw it in the dryer for 10 minutes on high to kill the ticks that were collected.

The best part is that the TiCK MiTT can be used over and over again. After retrieving the mitt from the dryer and disposing of the dead ticks, the mitt is ready to use on your adventure. If needed, you can also hand wash it with soap and water.

While the TiCK MiTT took home Best Adventure Product this, in some areas of the world this could be a necessity for daily walks and regular outings, so its use is definitely not limited to camping and hiking adventures.

Josh's Frogs Isopod Hanger Cups displayed near plant products for vivariums

Best Amphibian Product: Isopod and Springtail Hanger Cups by Josh’s Frogs

When it comes to all things related to exotic pets including frogs, we love following what Josh’s Frogs is up to. On the show floor we spoke with VP of Sales & Marketing, Taylor Hedrich, and he shared the pretty exciting process they went through to set up the display vivariums they had at their booth.

Part of this process included using Josh’s Frogs’ new Isopod and Springtail Hanger Cups to ensure the dart frogs and other animals had food, but also to keep the vivariums clean. If you aren’t familiar with Isopods or Springtails, here’s quick breakdown:

  • Isopods – Feeder insects for small animals, such as dart frogs, who need prey in their environment. They are also great “tank janitors” that help with controlling mold.
  • Springtails – “Tank janitors” that help keep vivariums clean by eating waste and mold. They also help with oxygen flow leaves by digging tunnels and can be a tasty snack for animals like dart frogs.

Isopods and Springtails are live insects, so the coolest part of this product is that they were designed to bring this bioactive support product to brick-and-mortar stores nationwide.

The Isopod and Springtail Hanger Cups also won 3rd Place in the New Products Showcase at Global Pet Expo in the Reptile category, so they can be used for reptiles as well as amphibians.

Aquarium with the Betta Tunnel in green and Floating Lounge that looks like a wooden bridge

Best Aquatic Product: Betta Tunnel & Floating Lounge by Zoo Med Laboratories

The Betta Tunnel and Floating Lounge are technically two products, but we couldn’t decide between the two of them and loved that Zoo Med provided options because we know pets are not one size fits all – even for our fish friends!

In nature, bettas live in shallower waters than most other fish, and these waters also tend to be full of plants, providing plenty of napping spots. Bettas are also unique because they can breathe oxygen both through their gills and from the surface of the water, and it’s actually important that they do both to stay healthy!

Both of these two new products from Zoo Med provide a spot for your betta fish to rest near the surface of the water in their tank, which keeps them closer to oxygen at the surface. The Betta Tunnel provides a little bit more of a hiding place, while the floating lounge looks like an adorable wooden bridge.

Several wooden toys for birds with cork buttons (Corky Crunchers)

Best Bird Product: Happy Beaks Corky Crunchers & Humanized Bird by A&E Cage Company, LLC

Just like all pets, birds need mental stimulation, physical exercise, and all around enrichment, but unlike dogs and cats they definitely have fewer products available on the market to help with that. And similar to nails of cats and dogs, bird beaks also need to stay trimmed to keep them healthy. Imagine a product that can help with both of these needs!

Enter Happy Beaks Corky Crunchers from A&E Cage Company.

Cork is a natural material that is non-toxic and gentle on beaks and feet. Not only do cork toys provide a safe outlet for birds to chew and gnaw to keep their beaks trimmed, but they also encourage problem-solving and foraging behaviors. Utilizing toys in a bird’s environment can also increase their physical activity by encouraging them to move around to the toys more.

This new toy collection features many super cute “humanized” designs such as a pizza, remote control, a computer keyboard, and more.

Animals Like Us booth in bright yellow and with a table set with fancy plates of freeze dried dog food at Global Pet Expo 2024

Best Booth Design: Animals Like Us

Have you ever thought about what a dinner party with your dog would look like? Well Animals Like Us did and they knocked it out of the park.

Their booth at this year’s show embraced their brand yellow in nearly every way possible and put their food at the center of a luxurious tablescape that would be perfect for every prince or princess pup!

We lingered probably a little too long at the Animals Like Us booth because it just brought us so much joy – probably a combination of seeing so much yellow and the creativity that went into planning this booth design. But staying longer gave us the chance to examine their dog food up close.

If you don’t know Animals Like Us, they are a pet food company that is working to bring a safe and easy way for pet parents to add raw meat and organs into their dog’s diet. They currently offer food options with 50% freeze-dried meat and treat options that are 100% meat.

Booth display at the Earth Rated booth featuring a clawfoot tub, balloons, and grooming products

Best Booth Display: Earth Rated

Did you hear? Earth Rated is getting into grooming! Well technically, they’ve been in grooming with their ear wipe and eye wipe additions in late 2023, but now they are REALLY getting into it with three shampoos, a deodorizing spray, and a dry shampoo coming soon.

To celebrate their further entrance into another new product category, their booth featured a bubble bath display. A clawfoot tub, cotton batting, and white and clear balloons worked together seamlessly to get us all in the scrub-a-dub mood. The display also highlighted their newest products atop three pedestals.

We loved that while the display was simple and fun, it still drew attention and celebrated their newest product launch.

A stack of PetCakes Birthday Baking Kits for Cats and Dogs

Best Boutique Product: Birthday Baking Kit for Cats by PetCakes

We are so happy to see that cats are getting the chance to party as much as dogs! Whether it’s a holiday or a birthday or just a really needed Friday night, the Birthday Baking Kit for Cats is a fantastic way to celebrate with your cats.

The kit includes a reusable fish-shaped pan, two cake mixes, two frosting mixes, two ice cream mixes, sprinkles, a candle, and recipes for cakes with frosting and ice cream treats. Since the pan makes three fish cakes or treats, you can make six cakes and six ice cream treats from one kit. For $26.99, you can have multiple parties with your pet!

For the base recipes, you just need the mix and water, but the box provides several ways you can spice things up with yogurt, canned food, fruit, cheese, and more. And when it comes to making the treat, you just need 2.5 minutes in a microwave or 3 hours in a freezer. It’s so easy!

And because I know you’re wondering – yes, there’s a version for dogs too!

Stack of geleto containers that looks like a Christmas tree with neon sign in that back that says "Barkdays are Swell"
Orange circle backdrop and orange cooler with the Swell logo

Best Branding: Swell Gelato for Dogs

For this one, we definitely deferred to Christy, our Director of Brand & Creative. Though she stayed behind at home during this year’s show, she’s helped us pick a few of our BlogPaws Best winners and create social media coverage of the show.

Christy has combed through all our photos and videos, and when it came to picking Best Branding, Swell Gelato was her only choice, so I thought I’d let her explain why:

“I love everything about Swell Gelato – their brand, their products – all of it! The brand is just so cool and retro. It’s like a blast from the past, but with a modern twist – gelato for your dogs! Swell’s recognizable orange cooler is fun and brings joy to dogs wherever it goes.”

Blue Weighted Calming Vest from Canada Pooch on white dog mannequin

Best Calming Product: Weighted Calming Vest by Canada Pooch

A few years ago weighted blankets made a big splash as a non-medication option for stress and anxiety in people. At first, they were pricey and hard to come by, but now they are much more affordable and available in almost every size and color. Still advancements are being made for humans as we’re starting to see weighted toys and other garments, so it’s not surprising that this trend has made its way to the pet industry.

What is surprising is that so far the Weighted Calming Vest from Canada Pooch is the only one we know of!

Just like with human weighted blankets, the gentle pressure from the vest imitates the feeling from a hug or pet. The vest distributes its weight evenly across a dog’s shoulders to help create a calmer state and is designed to be up to 3% of the dog’s body weight. When selecting a size, it’s important to factor in weight as well as chest girth.

Currently, the Weighted Calming Vest is available in XS – XXL and three colors (gray, pink, and blue).

Purple packages of Wellness Lickable Treats and Wellness Kittles on display

Best Cat Product: Wellness Lickable Treats by Wellness Pet Company

Lickable treats for cats have been equated to Go-Gurts for pets for the last several years. They’ve been fun and useful for training, hydration, and treats on the go, but we had yet to see a version of these that served a dual purpose… until now!

At the show, Wellness Pet Company showcased their new Wellness Lickable Treats with functional benefits. There are six 0.4oz treats in a package. The new product launched with three flavors:

  • Chicken Recipe for Digestive Health and Immune Health
  • Duck Recipe for Digestive Health
  • Tuna Recipe for Digestive Health and Skin & Coat Health

Lickable treats have been a hit for cats in both Britt and my life. Britt’s Pippen can’t get enough of them and they are perfect for camping and hiking. Meanwhile, I’m lucky to have a friendly community cat, Chadwick, in my life and lickable treats provide a great bonding experience for us. So it’s easy to say that we were excited to see another brand and product option in the lickable treat market!

A canister of Absorb It on shelf with other Wee Away cleaning products

Best Cleaning Product: Absorb It by Wee Away Company

Wee Away is no stranger to our BlogPaws Best winners list. In fact, this is their third award! And, we really tried to not give it to them. We really did, but we just had to for their newest and most magical product yet.

Absorb It is exactly what it sounds like – a product that can virtually absorb any liquid in a matter of seconds. Though it’s not yet available on their website, we got to see a demo of its use at the show and it was unbelievable.

The clear use case for Absorb It is when your pet has an accident inside your home, so this is a must have product for any new puppy or kitten parents! But it doesn’t stop there. Absorb It can be used on any unwanted liquid including vomit and diarrhea.

And because we like to get dirty, you know I asked about chunks. What happens if it’s not pure liquid? It still works! The Wee Away team let me know that they actually mix together a few different soups into a vomit-like consistency to test out the product. While it won’t actually absorb the solids, it will absorb the liquid around them and make clean up so much easier.

Dog running lure course by using Chase from SwitfPaws
Photo courtesy of SwiftPaws

Best Dog Product: Chase! by SwiftPaws

With an in-house sighthound lover plus three beagles and two cattle dog mixes on the BlogPaws Team, our ears perked up when we heard about a brand bringing lure coursing to the average pet parent. SwiftPaws attended Global Pet Expo as a Pet Care Innovation Prize Winner and shared a booth with four other spectacular brands.

Prior to attending the show, SwiftPaws had appeared on Shark Tank. As part of this experience, Meghan Wolfgram, who founded SwiftPaws in 2012, accepted a deal from Lori Grenier. Between Shark Tank and the Pet Care Innovation Prize, we knew we had to learn more about SwiftPaws.

At the show, the newest member of their product line was featured – Chase! This lure coursing kit is designed with affordability and portability in mind. The flagship kit retails at $499.99, so there was definitely room for a more budget friendly option and Chase hits that at only $299.99 (with additional discounts frequently available).

The newest model allows for a lure course up to 100′ and runs at speeds up to 20 mph. It can be powered by plugging it in or running off a portable battery (not included), and it is app controlled with an optional remote add-on.

Two Let's Get Loco Slow Feeders (one in pink and one in teal) next to New Product Showcase Best in Show Award

Best Emerging Brand: Happy Dingos

As Britt and I walked through the New Product Showcase, we spotted several enrichment style matts and bowls, which we loved to see. But, the one we stopped to look at the longest was the Let’s Get Loco Slow Feeder from Happy Dingos.

Unlike some of the other slow feeder bowls we’ve seen, this one was made of silicone, so it was softer and flexible. It combined the best of a slow feeder and a lick matt. On top of that, the Let’s Get Loco wasn’t just a repeated pattern; it had different shapes, patterns, and wall heights to keep things interesting and create different challenges.

Happy Dingos made an impression on us through their slow feeder and their adorable branding and product design, but it wasn’t until I stopped by their booth where I realized how passionate the founders, Alfonso and Nataya, truly are.

Then it wasn’t until I got home that I realized how NEW their company was. According to the Happy Dingos Instagram, their official launch was just a few months back on November 13, 2023. Once I knew that, it was clear Happy Dingos needed to take home our BlogPaws Best for Best Emerging Brand and we cannot wait to see what’s next for them.

Dog X Cube with other brightly colored enrichment dog toys from GURU

Best Enrichment Product: Dog X Cube by GURU Pet Company

We first learned about the GURU Pet Company at last year’s SuperZoo. It was a situation where the bright colors and uniqueness of their products just drew us into their booth. Before we knew it, we were picking the brains of JJ & Amy – the husband and wife team behind GURU – and learning all about how they designed incredible dog toys.

For the last six months, Britt and I have been at the edge of our seats ready for their official launch and to see what products they showcase at Global Pet Expo. And I’m here to report that they did not disappoint.

Not only was the GURU booth bigger, better, and fuller of the products we learned about a few months ago, but they also had several new products to showcase including our favorite, Dog X Cube.

The Dog X Cube is, as you might have guessed, a cube, but this cube has three layers that rotate around a center point with holes for filling and dispensing treats. With many food dispensing enrichment toys already on the market, the GURU still found a way to be different and innovate with the Dog X Cube.

Demo of the furMe Grooming Vacuum on a tan furry rug

Best Grooming Product: Precision Paw Trimmer Attachment for Grooming Vacuum by furMe

Every once in a while there is a product that we love, but there’s just one feature we wish it could do better or differently. In this case, furMe actually anticipated our wishes with an attachment for their Grooming Vacuum.

One of the use cases for the Grooming Vacuum was maintaining extra long paw fur, but when you have dogs under 30 pounds like me, the default trimmer was a little too big for their tiny feet. The Precision Paw Trimmer Attachment solved that with a smaller trimmer.

But then I thought to myself, “what about nail trimming? There’s got to be a way to have a nail grinder attachment.” AND THERE IS.

The Precision Paw Trimmer is actually a 3-in-1 attachment, so it has a 32mm trimmer, a 20mm trimmer, and a small nail grinder. All of these attachments use the base furMe Grooming Vacuum, so the motor is quieter than other nail grinders and with the attachment hose, you won’t be holding the “loud” part in your hand and near your pet’s nails at all.

AnimalBiome Gut Microbiome Test Kit for all animals

Best Health Product: At-Home Gut Microbiome Test for All Animals by AnimalBiome

Last year we awarded AnimalBiome the Best Health Product award for DoggyBiome and KittyBiome and we just had to do it again this year because they took it to the next level. The team at AnimalBiome took what they’d learn with offering At-Home Gut Microbiome Tests for dogs and cats and created a similar test for all animals.

Yes, you heard that right. ALL animals (okay, well not dogs, cats, or humans).

  • Parrots
  • Chickens
  • Snakes
  • Guinea pigs
  • Turtles
  • Rabbits
  • Lizards
  • Ferrets
  • and more!

Just like the DoggyBiome and KittyBiome, the At-Home Gut Microbiome Test for All Animals is an at-home test kit that includes everything you need to collect a stool sample from your pet. Once collected, you just send it back to them for processing and you get customized results sent to your inbox in 2-3 weeks.

Long haired cat and orange short haired cat with pink RYERCAT toothbrush
Photo courtesy of RYERCAT

Best Home Care Product: Dual-Sided Cat Toothbrush by RYERCAT

It’s not a secret that cats aren’t just small dogs, but for some reason the pet industry hasn’t caught up with that fact in all areas. We’re seeing more and more cat-specific products, but there’s definitely still a ways to go.

One of the most exciting developments for cats presented at the show was the introduction of a toothbrush specifically designed for feline anatomy. In alignment with another growing industry trend – dental health – RYERCAT brings the very toothbrush for cats.

The RYERCAT Dual Sided Cat Toothbrush is made of sustainable cornstarch and features a micro head brush with super soft bristles that are charcoal infused to help neutralize bacteria. It retails at $21.99 and is currently available in 10 colors.

BetterBone display with different sizes, flavors, and hardnesses

Best Natural Product: BetterBone SOFT and TOUGH All-Natural Chews by BetterBone

As a dog mom, one of the biggest conflicts in my life is centered around my dogs’ need and desire to chew. I don’t want them to chew things they shouldn’t, I don’t want them to chew things that are hazardous, and I can’t have them chewing high calorie treats all the time. So what is a dog mom or dad to do?

I was about to give up until I learned about BetterBone. While it looks like similar chews on the market, it is made of all-natural cellulose and vegetable oils that are directly sourced from the European food industry. So no plastic, nylon, rawhide, rope, or rubber.

BetterBone was built on a desire to create one of the first innovations in dog chews in years by creating a non-toxic chewable product made without nylon, made from renewable materials, and that’s CO2 neutral.

Currently, BetterBone is availble in three sizes (small, medium, and large), two hardnesses (SOFT and HARD), and two flavors (hypoallergenic and beef). A new medium hardness will be dropping soon.

Charmdana in pink and blue with other charm sets below

Best New Product: Charmdana Rubber Dog Bandana with Charms by WagAround Town

Imagine Crocs for pets. Okay, now image that as a bandana instead of shoes. Bright colors, high quality rubber, personalized charms, and easy to clean. And there you have the WagAround Town Charmdana.

Since we attend Global Pet Expo as a member of the media, we often get a sneak peek into what’s being highlighted at the show and the Charmdana was one of those. When Britt and I first saw a photo, we were intrigued. Right away, Britt was excited because of the possibilities for camping or hiking trips. I wanted to know more and was excited to be able to see it in person.

At the show, we were able to see and feel how high quality the bandanas and charms were as well as get a feel for the sizing – the small fits on cats too! We also had an opportunity to chat about what’s next with one of the creators, Mindy, who started the business with her daughter Katie to create a more unique solution to fabric bandanas following up a grooming session. All I can say is that I can’t wait to see what’s next for WagAround Town!

The Charmdana currently comes in 7 colors and 3 sizes. The starter set includes a Charmdana and 3-5 charms depending on the size.

Packaging from Austin and Kat for supplement powders

Best Packaging: Supplement Powders by Austin and Kat

CBD is still a very complicated and scientific topic in both the human and pet space. Despite CBD and other cannabinoid products being available for years, one of the biggest gaps between product formulators and consumers still remains – education.

For a while, it seemed like every company dabbled in a CBD product and I’m thankful that many of those companies and products have been weeded out leaving only the best behind. The best to me is a company that not only uses the highest quality ingredients, but also strives to educate their customers on the benefits and proper use of CBD.

Austin and Kat is known for small batch health and wellness supplements for dogs and cats, many of which include CBD matched with other botanicals that help support the functional purpose of the supplement.

Austin and Kat goes a step beyond education as they make CBD and other supplements approachable and easy to understand through their marketing and packaging. The packaging of their Botanical Blends and Supplement Powders tell a story and invite pet parents to pick up the package to learn more.

SnugArooz dog toys including two different sizes of yeti toys

Best Recycled Product: Tom Yeti by SnugArooz

SnugArooz is taking home Best Recycled Product for the second show in a row. Sustainability in the pet industry has been a trend for years, but this year seemed to be one of significance with the addition of a Sustainability Award for the New Product Showcase and a section on the show floor.

We’re proud to see many brands creating products with sustainable materials and packaging from recycled supplies, but we’re waiting for the turning point when we see more recycled products on the market. Thankfully, SnugArooz is leading the way with their plush toys that feature stuffing made of recycled water bottles.

It was hard to pick just one toy from SnugArooz offerings, but the one that drew me into their booth at the show was Tom Yeti, so he gets the crown. Tom clocks in at 11″, so if you’re looking for a smaller toy option, Young Yeti might be a good choice at 5″ and there might just be a yeti for cats coming soon too.

Display of Veggie Snackers (small round treats) and mini pies for small animals

Best Small Animal Product: Veggie Snackers by Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc

We can’t forget our smallest animal friends! They often get overlooked, so we’re always excited when we find something new, different, and innovative for hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and other small furry friends.

Veggie Snackers are small round treats with a veggie and herb coating and crispy center. The biggest thing that drew our attention to these treats was the package size. Many treats for small animals are available in packages that are just a bit too large. Small animals are – you guessed it – small! And so they don’t eat as much as dogs or cats. They deserve variety and excitement in their treats too, so we’re excited to see smaller packages of treats that allow for that. 

A Better Treat Organic Pumpkin bag next to clear award from the New Product Showcase (2nd place)

Best Supplement Product: Freeze Dried Raw USDA Organic Pumpkin Dog and Cat Treats by A Better Treat

If you’ve ever had to deal with your pet vomiting or having diarrhea, then you probably have tried a bland diet and giving your pet pumpkin to help restore their digestive system back to its normal, healthy state. But canned pumpkin takes up a lot of pantry space, is difficult to deal with while traveling, and doesn’t have a long shelf life once opened.

There has to be a way to simplify giving pumpkin to dogs and cats right? Right!

Freeze Dried Pumpkin Treats are here! Thanks to A Better Treat, dog and cat parents everywhere have access to pumpkin to help soothe upset stomachs anytime including while they’re on the go.

These one ingredient treats won our Best Supplement Product because of how we predict they will change the dietary supplement world. In addition to making pumpkin more accessible, we love that each treat is only 0.3 calories. If you’re at all like me, then you’ve forgotten more times that you’d like to admit to making adjustments to your pet’s daily caloric intake when you’ve added pumpkin, so having a low calorie alternative is a huge deal.

Natoo's newest dog treat on display - Oats, Banana, and Honey

Best Sustainable Brand: Natoo Pet Foods

PremieRpet, the parent company of Natoo Pet Foods, has been in the business of pet food for more than 25 years in Brazil. Natoo first entered the US pet market last year with meal toppers for dogs and cats and dog treats.

When I first learned about Natoo, I fell in love with their dog treats because my dogs loved them, they were made with simple ingredients, and they came in fun shapes like moons, paws, and flowers. But then I learned about Natoo’s mission and how they go above and beyond to live up to it.

According to Natoo’s website, their mission is to “To make people’s relationship with their pets as close, enjoyable and long-lasting as possible.” and in all honesty, it sounds a lot like what other pet brands say they also stand for. What’s different is that Natoo takes this to heart in everything they do from product ingredients to packaging to the facility where they produce their treats. More than any other brand, they understand that to have a human-animal bond as “long-lasting as possible”, we have to protect where that relationship flourishes, Earth – now and for future generations.

Natoo’s production facility is LEED Gold certified and their products feature recycled packaging.

Front view of the RealScooper automatic cat litter box
Top view of the RealScooper automatic cat litter box

Best Tech Product: RealScooper Auto Self-Refill Automatic Cat Litter Box by Shenzhen Lalahome Smartech Co.

One of the biggest and most successful subsets of pet tech has been the self cleaning cat litter box. They now come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges and to some degree, they all clean the litter box on their own.

But the one thing that they don’t all do is refill the litter once it has run out. That’s what stood out to us about the RealScooper from LaLaHome. It can store up to 13 lbs of litter. When litter levels are low, it automatically releases and replenishes the box with fresh litter and then mixes it with the existing litter.

The RealScooper works for cats ranging from 2.2 to 22 lbs. It has a built in deodorization system and utilizes UVC sterilization to remove harmful bacteria. The litter box is built for easy disassembly to make cleaning easier and has a built-in litter trap to prevent litter tracking. And of course, you can control and track everything through a WiFi enabled cell phone app.

Britt from Team BlogPaws modeling the Navigator Convertible Cat Backpack in gray

Best Travel Product: The Navigator Convertible Cat Backpack by Travel Cat

Here at Team BlogPaws, we are firm believers that you should be able to explore the world with your pet as much as you want and your lifestyle allows and that includes with cats! As much as we believe this, the pet industry in general hasn’t quite caught up yet, so when we see a brand or product that puts cats first, we get excited.

The Navigator Convertible Cat Backpack is a perfect example of that.

The backpack is designed with both human and cat comfort in mind. It has adjustable waist, chest, and shoulder straps for human comfort and a sturdy bottom with space for up to two cats to comfortably fit inside.

The bag features two harness or leash clips, a zippered pocket, two side pockets, a removable mat, and a detachable shoulder strap, but the biggest feature standout was the water reservoir pocket to help keep everyone cool and hydrated.

Display of cat food in boxes and cans from Rawz Natural Pet Food

Most Charitable Brand: Rawz Natural Pet Food

It was an absolute honor and pleasure to meet the founders of Rawz Natural Pet Food while attending Global Pet Expo. Jim and Janet Scott helped grow the Old Mother Hubbard brand and created the Wellness brand before selling it to WellPet in 2008 when life through their family two major curveballs right after one another.

After time for their family to heal, the Scott Family re-entered the pet industry with Rawz with a mission to offer pets “nutritionally exceptional recipes that provide the highest meat content possible, utilizing natural alternatives to highly-processed ingredients” and to give back.

Rawz established The Rawz Fund in 2015 where they donate 100% of their profits (after taxes and reserves) to three main causes: providing services dogs, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. To date $3.2 million has been donated to The Rawz Fund.

DOGTV CEO speaks in front of their booth and tv display

Most Engaging Booth: DOGTV & Pets Add Life

This year we got to witness the start of a fun new collaboration between DOGTV and Pets Add Life through their brand new Pets Add Life podcast, hosted by Kristen Levine & Chris Bonifati. This announcement took place at the Pets Add Life Lounge and while yes, it’s technically a lounge, we also think it was the most engaging booth on the show floor.

The booth was centered around a lounge area and at least 4 TVs – two at human height and two at dog height – playing DOGTV. On one side, you could watch as podcast segments were being recorded live right on the show floor. Even as a member of the media, it was fun to see who would be interviewed next. The other side featured custom coffee art from Baristart.

So in short, this booth had it all – entertainment, education, coffee, and a place to put your feet up for a few minutes.

Pill hider packaging in PB+J (purple), Apple Pie (green), and Cookie Dough (pink)

Most Innovative Product: Pill Maskers by Lord Jameson

Lord Jameson has done it again! When it comes to innovation, sometimes changing how you think about or use something is all that the world needs. So often being innovative is tied with big tech, but in reality innovation doesn’t necessarily require technology.

This year Lord Jameson announced a new product called Pill Maskers. The product is a treat designed to mask or hide a pill or supplement, but the biggest difference between this and alternatives is the quality of the ingredients in the treat itself. Lord Jameson is known for using human-grade ingredients to create high quality, plant based dog treats. And when they say human-grade they mean it and we believe them… Britt and I each ate one of each flavor of the Pill Maskers on the show floor!

In addition to the quality of ingredients, Lord Jameson also took product development to the next level by including larger pieces of blueberries and peanuts in the Pill Maskers to help further mask the pill inside by making the texture a little less smooth when compared with their normal treats.

Pill Maskers will be available in three flavors – PB&J, Apple Pie, and Cookie Dough soon.

Best in Show Awards from the BlogPaws Team

Black DoggyRade Unleashed pouches on display below pouches of prebiotic chews

Britt’s Best in Show: DoggyRade Unleashed Hydration + Prebiotics by DoggyRade Advanced Pet Nutrition (Tonisity)

Our first Best in Show award was selected by Britt Kascjak, BlogPaws Director of Content & SEO. When I asked her why she selected the DoggyRade Unleashed Hydration + Prebiotics, she said:

“Adventuring with an active dog is like spending time with an athlete. They are pushing their bodies to the limit, and it’s our job to support them. I love that DoggyRade Unleashed is taking the DoggyRade product to the next level. Not only does it offer great hydration and essential electrolytes, but it incorporates many key health benefits that support that well-oiled machine that is an active dog’s body. While I can accomplish this with a variety of products for my hiking buddy Lucifer, I love that this combines it all in one convenient product making it easier than ever to put his health and well-being first!”

Blue football shape dental toy for dogs

Jessica’s Best in Show: TREATBRUSH by ChewMate

I had the privilege of picking the second Best in Show winner and my selection actually came from a booth I visited late on the last day of the show. ChewMate had been on my list to drop by, but I hadn’t found myself in the area of their booth until right at the end of the show. I’m so glad that I did finally stumble upon it because I got to meet the two people behind the brand and see their passion first hand.

Both Dr. Allan Coopersmith and Nathalie Fiset oozed with excitement and concern about pet dental health, but instead of preaching that the only solution is to brush your pet’s teeth, they created fun toys carefully designed to aid in maintaining oral hygiene. At the show, a new TREATBRUSH in a football like shape was announced. Just like the original TREATBRUSH, the bristles and grooves are designed to help clean your dog’s teeth while they interact and attempt to get to the treats stored inside.

Simple candy themed cat toys that can hide treats and scents for cats

Chloe’s Best in Show: Pop ‘N Purr Candy by Dezi & Roo

The next Best in Show award was picked by BlogPaws CEO / CFO, Chloe DiVita. She wanted to make sure cats were represented, so she landed on the Pop ‘N Purr Candy. When asked why, here’s what she said:

“I love how Dezi & Roo creates enrichment toys for cats that innovate on the traditional toys cats love. Taking the traditional cat ball and adding in pre-loaded scent and happiness with silver vine in the new Pop ’n Purr Candy toy is purrfect example. Plus, they come in cute packaging and can be refilled with anything your cat loves!”

A bunch of Baguette dog toys surrounded by other plush dog toys

Christy’s Best in Show: Baguette Dog Toy by Lambwolf Collective

Christy Castillo, BlogPaws Director of Brand & Creative, picked the final Best in Show award. She selected Baguette almost immediately and here’s why:

“I absolutely adore Lambwolf Collective’s Baguette. It’s perfect for my two beagles, who love to use their noses. The joy they get from sniffing out treats from the ‘cuts’ of bread is fun to watch, plus it’s great enrichment. The design and concept is just so cute.”

We believe these brands are pushing the envelope when it comes to the pet industry. Each one is responsible for the forward movement of the pet industry through innovation, imagination, and dedication. Congratulations to all the winners!

What’s your favorite brand or product from our picks? Did you discover anything new that you want to learn more about? We’d can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author: Jessica Shipman, BlogPaws COO / CMO, has been in the pet industry since 2013, following the launch of her blog, Beagles & Bargains. She’s a skilled marketing strategist with an Ivy League Engineering degree making her a sought-after web developer, too. When not focused on content creation or SEO, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Luna and Ralph. Read more…

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